Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island, a celebrated resort community with a colorful and intriguing past, is one of South Carolina’s premier tourist destinations. Its scenery and leisure industry attract more than 1.5 million visitors each year to play golf, relax on the beaches, or just to soak up the atmosphere. Before the fairways and hotels ever arrived on the scene, the island already had a long and interesting history dating back as far as 10,000 years ago, when Native Americans first began to visit the area. In Hilton Head Island, Natalie Hefter and the Coastal Discovery Museum revisit this history, charting the area’s development from its first plantation in 1717, through the boom years of shipbuilding and Sea Island cotton to the Civil War. In over 200 vintage photographs, the authors document the impact of the Union occupation, the establishment of Mitchelville (the island’s “contraband” and Freedmen community), the dramatic effects of the first bridge to the island, and the development of the tourist industry that now typifies Hilton Head.